Relaxing Weekend

We had a phenomenally beautiful weekend. The weather was picture perfect – not too warm and not too cool, sunny and just perfect. We had company for the weekend, too, so we were able to spend a lot of time on the porch and I got lots of time to knit.

I’ve been working a lot this weekend on a gift for my niece and her husband who are expecting their first baby, a boy, in just about a month. I’ve got several gifts ready to send or bring to them but this is the one that I am most excited about. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read my blog (I’m pretty sure that there are only a handful of you who do, so I’m going to risk posting progress photos of it.

The pattern is called Owl Baby Vest and it’s a free pattern on Ravelry. I am knitting it with a great red Vintage DK yarn. I have one skein and it should be enough to finish the whole garment. When I saw it I knew it HAD to be the “sweater” for my niece who loves owls (and her husband is an Alabama fan so the color is spot on, too.)

The pattern has been an interesting experience. I don’t believe it’s been tech edited so the language and the steps aren’t always clear. I have minimally altered several of the steps, starting with the very beginning. I didn’t want the starting point to be under an arm but I wanted it at the center back which meant knitting 27 stitches before starting the owl pattern. I also had to “fix” the underarm decreases and the setup for dividing the back from the front and the two sides of the front, too. I’ll put the specific steps that I made differently into the notes on my Ravelry project page for this little vest.

As of today, I’ve attached the shoulders and I’ve picked up the stitches around the collar (t’s a v-neck vest so there were quite a few stitches to pick up.) I’ll get them stitched in the next couple of days and the arms, too. I’m excited to see what it looks like when the pieces are all done! My plan is to add stitched on eyes for the owls – I haven’t decided if I will sew on eye buttons or if I’ll keep it even safer and stitch on eyes with yarn. But the cabled owls need eyes.

I’ll update this post when the little owl vest is finished.

Bird’s Eye Lace

Today I pulled out my Aeslight Shawl again after a brief vest knitting respite. I have finished all but the knitted on edging. It also occurred to me that I don’t have enough of the yarn for the larger size shawl which is the one that I’ve knitted of course. So, I’ll be hoping to find another skein of yarn, Malabrigo Sock in the Tiziano Red colorway. I’ll be crossing my fingers and toes. If I don’t find the red, I’ll be forced to choose a second colorway for the edging which isn’t my preferred result but I think it will be acceptable. If it’s not, I’ll be starting it over with a new yarn because I really love this shawl. AND I chose it to knit because my friend and coworker just came home from Shetland.

Aeslight is knit in traditional Shetland construction: a garter stitch triangle and then stitches are picked up in the yarn-over edge and you knit a border which, in this case, is a bird’s eye lace pattern that I loved knitting once I learned to look at my knitting. The third section is a knitted-on edging. I’ve just completed two repeats of the edging and it’s fun but my tired brain needed to rest tonight. And, I’m not sure about the yarn amounts. So … it’ll have to wait until I get to the store and see if there is one more skein of red yarn. Or not. What a rookie mistake!

Two Repeats of the Edging

Gone knitting.

Another Excellent Adventure

Coffee on the porch before leaving home

I left the lake last weekend to go on another excellent adventure. I didn’t knit much all weekend but I drove a lot and I took a lot of knitted gifts!

I headed off on Saturday morning at 8:30am to New York City.

It took me eight hours for what should have been about six and a half. Summer traffic and the end of the month rental switch causes traffic and it didn’t disappoint. I listened to a lot of knitting podcasts and kept moving forward, at times very slowly but I made it – all by myself – into the big city. I knew I had arrived when I saw a couple of guys nabbed by the police getting off the highway in Washington Heights. LOL.

Saturday night I stayed with my son and his girlfriend and their two dogs. They have a small but comfortable apartment and it’s wonderful to be invited and wanted. They had just been up in Maine for a birthday visit and I’d just said goodbye to them on Friday. It’s nice to visit on their turf, too. We had dinner “en famille” at my eldest daughter’s courtyard – lobster rolls (with lobster that I brought from Maine) – to celebrate her birthday at her request. As usual, I neglected to take any photos. Having all three of my kids and their significant others together in one place is the best for this mama’s soul.

My Son-in-Love, Tom, is the life of the party!

Sunday morning was the baby shower and the main reason for my trip. I slept until 8:30am which is astounding for me any day but even more so considering I was in New York City. Typically the street noise wakes me up early. Not this time. The baby shower was also at my eldest daughter’s courtyard and it was a really great place for a summer baby shower. We played a couple of games, ate some yummy food and celebrated the arrival of a new, special baby girl. We are all looking forward to meeting her. I took a few (lousy) photos … the one of my son-in-law above is the best one. LOL.

Post shower, I was off to Westport, CT for the night with my college roommate and then home on Monday with one stop in Marlborough, CT to see my very first friend and her new Great Dane puppy. Look at her feet!!!

Esme – 10 weeks and 20 pounds

Even with a three-hour stop it only took me nine and a half hours to get home. Yup, six and a half hours of driving. Not eight. It was a super quick trip but full of family and friends that filled my heart.

I took a carload of knitted gifts with me and I’ll share them in another post. Tonight I’m too tired but tomorrow is another day. I’m on a stay-cation this week and am trying to get all my ducks in a row. Too bad they’re all refusing to line up and tomorrow’s Thursday already. Geesh.

Gone knitting.

A Very Good Week

Sunday Just After Sunrise

This has been a very good week despite the horrible Russian invasion of Ukraine. Two of my kids have been here with their significant others and their dogs. My mama’s heart is so full.

Neither my younger daughter or my son have been here in the winter, so they say and they got a good vision of what our life is like in Maine in the winter and how beautiful it is here at this time of year. And how crazy the weather can be.

We had some cold weather, got to walk on the ice, ate lobsters, experienced temperatures in the mid-60s and the mud that happens on a camp road, and figured out how to “run” from a snow storm when you have obligations that require you to be somewhere at a particular time. We made a puzzle in a day and we ate and drank and laughed and did a lot of dog walking. Five dogs is a lot of dogs! But they’re all so good at getting along. They set a good example for the humans of our world.

I took a step away from work and volunteering and even knitting to some extent. I always forget to take pictures of the people in my life because I am fully present in the moment. Lucky that I have a good memory and can remember the feeling of being together.

My son and his girlfriend have headed to Texas for a wedding and then to Los Angeles for a soccer game and they left their two dogs here with us. They’ll arrive back on Tuesday. Meanwhile, we are having some quality time with Gus and Picasso. They’re adding some good giggles to our days and I am talking lots of extra walks around the yard with the boys. We will be vacuuming the sofa when they all head home. The light-colored dogs love the dark sofa! LOL

Picasso and Gus

I finished my Fine Sand Cardigan and it’s blocking. This was a very long project from start to finish. Not because the sweater is complicated or difficult but because it kept getting pushed aside in favor of other (more pressing?) projects. This is a fun pattern, written a little bit differently, and the sweater and yarn are really lovely. I look forward to wearing this in the spring and summer months. You can find all of the details: pattern name and yarn used in my Ravelry project files.

Fine Sand Cardigan before blocking

I cast on a new project, too, of course. My Medomak Fiber Arts Camp friends wanted to do a KAL (knit along) with the pattern Campfire by Lori Versaci of VersaciKnits. We had a cast on Zoom party with a small group of friends but since I have already knitted this shawl, I cast on Humlebi in Juniper Moon Farm’s Patagonia Organic Merino in an oatmeal-y colorway. The cast on is a picot cast on and needed my complete attention so I mostly chatted. We will be gathering by Zoom again on Saturday for the bobble section. I have to remember how to do the bobbles so I can teach those who are concerned that they can’t do it. It’s fun to see my summer friends in the winter – and especially since I have missed the last two summers of camp!

Humlebi Shawl – cast on and first couple of sections

As I sit typing this update today, in the sunshine on a beautiful lake in Maine. My grand-dogs are snoozing in my studio chairs and my husband is downstairs starting breakfast (I can smell it) with our BBD. All of our kids are healthy and happy and I am enormously grateful for the life we are building and hugely aware of the inexcusable attack by Russia on Ukraine. My heart goes out to the people of Ukraine. War is hell.

Gone knitting.

Keeping on Keeping on

I’m still keeping on keeping on!

Sunrise this morning over Sidney, Maine

We have been having absolutely stunning weather. Some has been really cold and some, like today, is really warm. The election is behind us and I’m hoping that we all work to bring our country together because that’s what makes this country great …

I’ve finished a big Christmas present and I can’t show you pictures for obvious reasons! Suffice it to say it’s beautiful and now, having knit it before, I remember why I loved this pattern. It was interesting to knit with simple cables all the way through. I’ll write more about it after Christmas (I hope I can remember!)

I’m working on a baby sweater to go with the baby blanket that I knit awhile back. I’m working with Hayfield’s Baby Blossom Chunky which is soft and the pre-printed yarn knits up in an interesting pattern, making the knitter look brilliant and talented without doing anything special! The blanket is adorable and it’ll be really warm for a new baby in Colorado. I’m knitting the six-month size in the sweater because shortly after he’s born this little guy will be moving from Florida to Colorado! The yarn is easy care (machine wash and dry) for mom.

Bulky Baby Pullover by Knitting Pure and Simple in Baby Blossom Chunky

When I finish this little sweater, I’ll knit a hat to match and then the gift will be sent to Florida. This is a very special baby. His mom is a young woman I’ve known for ten years and love like she’s my own. I’m proud of her, excited for her and wish that I lived closer!

I’ve got two orders coming up having finished another baby blanket for a customer/family member. The three cable baby blanket came out beautifully in a solid color as it did in the computer generated print yarn. Yay! This will go on my short list of baby gifts to knit.

So, next up is a Christmas stocking for a special nephew (not mine, my customer’s) and then four pairs of mittens for another customer’s grandchildren.

Pumpkin Blondies

These pumpkin blondies were really delicious!!! We gobbled them up in record time. I used pumpkin that I had bought and cooked (not the canned pumpkin) and it was a light pumpkin flavor that I really liked. I added chocolate chips and pecans, too. The bars were moist and really yummy! I will make them again.

Gone … we’re putting up Christmas lights outside today because it’s gorgeous outside and I need to get out of my studio. I’ve been working for almost five hours on a Sunday … I’m done now!

This Will be Short

Yesterday we had a Nor’Easter. It was coming down like crazy and it was wet snow. Needless to say, much of the state is now without power. We are without power … but we have a generator so we are not totally in the dark.

But I wanted to write to share that I’ve finished my test knit, named for now, the Cashmere People Shawl because it’s knit with Cashmere People yarn. This shawl is designed by Lori Versaci of VERSACIKNITS. As with Lori’s other designs, it’s a classic design and a textural wonderland. Such a fun project to knit.

I started this shawl project just as I was going into self-isolation in mid-March. The shawl calls for three colors of cashgora yarn in sport weight. I really wanted to have my shawl look and feel like a comfy pair of jeans. Casey Rider at Portfiber in Portland, Maine picked the three colors for me and she did an excellent job! I love the way the colors work together and I can’t wait until it’s dry and I can wear it!

I had a tense few moments at the end because I was very afraid I’d run out of the natural color of yarn at the edge. I’m happy to report that I won the game of yarn chicken this time! Woo! Hoo!

This afternoon I wove in the ends and blocked my shawl and I’m so happy to have it done. When the pattern is released, I’ll let you know.

Gone knitting!

Thursday Update

Yesterday

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and today is not. It’s overcast and gray and the wind is blowing off the lake which makes it cold. I’ve spent the better part of the day in my studio working on several projects.

First job was to call and email and text my class to announce, officially, that all of our classes have been cancelled until at least the end of the month. That’s twelve days at the least. And I’m thinking it’s going to be months instead of weeks. I sure hope I’m wrong! I have the most wonderful group of students. I know I’ve written about them before, but I mean it sincerely. I am really going to miss our Friday gathering.

I am working on a couple of projects … I was supposed to be finishing UFOs but I have cast on a couple of new “corona virus” projects. One is t a MKAL (mystery knit along) that we’re doing at Yardgoods Center. Clues are posted every morning at 8 to our facebook page.

Clue 1: Worsted weight bits and bobs of yarn. US 10 needles. Cast on 225 stitches

Clue 2: Knit 4 rows of garter stitch

Mine is cast on and knitted. That was my second order of business today.

Part 2 in process

Next I finished the second day of Arne and Carlos’s Quarantine KAL. While we don’t really know what we’re knitting, the small squares in Fair Isle is comforting and really makes my mind focus on the yarn and stitches that my hands are making. It’s a wonderful way to get lost in the process and it’s so comforting. I started off being behind and I’m still behind – as part 4 is being released today and I just finished part 2. Oh well. It’s all good, right?

I”m moving ahead with my test knit for Lori Versaci of Versaciknits. I am really loving the Cashmere People yarns that I am working for. Casey at Portfiber picked the perfect colors to make it feel like a comfy pair of jeans which was exactly what I was thinking for the feeling of this piece. This afternoon I will finish the second stockinette section and start on the next part. It’s not a difficult knit but it does mean that I have to be awake enough to count. I hope to make some good progress this afternoon and I will show you pictures when I get permission to do so. I love Lori’s designs. They’re classic, tailored and they’re brilliantly put together. I’m wearing the sweater that I test knit for her today … I’m going all in with comfy these days!

So, there you go. What we’re up to today. Day four, really, but also day six … it depends on when you started counting. I’ve mostly been in the house since Friday evening, 3/20/2020. While it’s still not “normal” it is feeling a bit less bizarre. We are settling in.

Gone knitting!

You can follow my knitting projects on Ravelry, “lindar”; on Facebook, QueenBeeKnits by Linda Warner and Instagram @QueenBeeKnits.

Blue BeeHive Mind

My husband and I have decided to self-isolate here at our home in Maine. The main reason is that I have a chronic cough/allergies/possible asthma and I’m apparently a senior citizen. At least my kids tell me that I am. Regardless, we feel that for my protection that this is the best option for us at this time.

So, today is day three for me and day one for him. We went for a ride to the dump … Wednesday is dump day and we had a mattress, an old mattress, to get rid of because our new one arrived yesterday. We also needed to get some provisions for the next few days or weeks. The fewer the trips out, the less likely the virus is to spread, right? Needless to say, I’m not going to work this week and I doubt that I’ll return unless and until I feel safe. Sadly, because the testing began so late – and we still don’t have a lot of tests here in Maine – we don’t have any idea how many people are infected.

I hope that I will settle into some sense of calm and normal but this has me a little bit freaked out. I’m not in a panic, it’s just frightening to not know what to expect. I know it will all end and we are so lucky to have a home to stay warm in, food to eat and hobbies that we enjoy that keep us entertained. I am concerned about all the kids out of school who suffer from food insecurity. Families who live paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford NOT to work. God bless the people in the grocery industry, the heathcare industry and the first responders. They’re in a tough position.

Here in Maine, the schools are helping with childcare for healthcare workers, I’m told and they’re also delivering breakfast and lunch to several places around our school district for the kiddos and their families who may not be able to afford food under these circumstances. I’m delighted to hear this and I always knew Mainers were special!

As I sit here writing, I want you all to know that I am knitting a little as my focus allows. I am trying to stay away from Facebook especially because it’s way too unnerving to read – everything is focused around the Corona Virus pandemic, politics and general nastiness. As an empathic person, this bothers me on a visceral level. Behind the scenes, I’m helping our store to host a shawl KAL – our first! We are posting clues each morning through April 8th at 8am. Clue 1 is on the Yardgoodsyarns Facebook page. Worsted Weight yarn. 32 inch US 10 circular needle. Cast on 225 stitches. Collect a bunch of worsted weight yarns … this is a stash buster!!! Clue 2 will be posted tomorrow, 3/19/2020 at 8am. I’ve heard people saying they don’t want to knit a shawl … don’t fret! The KAL goes until 4/8 but we can always make it a little bit longer so that It’s a lab blanket! Once you see where it goes, you can decide. Or if you’re not going to wear a shawl, consider donating it to a local nursing home, hospital or homeless shelter!

Good can come out of this difficult time if we look to make it a positive experience. In Italy their singing. In rural Maine, we’re knitting. More to come!

Gone knitting.

Oatmeal!

All of my life I’ve been unable to eat oatmeal or any hot cereal or semblance thereof. It’s a texture thing.

My Baked Oatmeal

On the other hand, I really want to love oatmeal because I know it’s healthy and I love the idea that you can have something hot for breakfast that is relatively simple to make.

While deeply lost in Pinterest a couple of weeks ago, I found a baked oatmeal recipe. It had all the yummy things I like to eat: blueberries, apple, nuts, cinnamon and maple syrup. And oatmeal. so I decided to try it and see. If I didn’t like it, my dear husband would eat it, right?

You can find the recipe here:

https://thefoodiephysician.com/dining-with-doc-blueberry-apple-walnut/

Yum! I can report that I love it! The recipe says it makes 12 servings so I cut the cooled oatmeal and freeze 12 portions. In the morning I can microwave it in less than two minutes. I pour in a little almond milk and honey or maple syrup and I’m good to go. I’m such a happy camper!

Gone knitting.

Snowy Day Snow Day

I got an extra day off today due to snow. Our first “significant” snow storm. We had “run” home from Massachusetts after Thanksgiving to avoid the storm and we were waiting for it! It’s been a beautiful day at home in my studio finishing projects.

Avatar Aang Hat

I was approached by an acquaintance to knit an Avatar Aang hat for her step-daughter to commemorate her strength and tenacity Over the last year. I took on the order prior to thinking it out and with no pattern. It turned out to be quite a challenge to knit a hat with a blue arrow from back to front continuously but I think I managed it pretty well, if I do say so.

I’ll write up the pattern eventually but suffice it to say that I knit the had flat and used the intarsia technique to manage the arrow. I “split” the arrow on the back of the hat with half being on either side of the seam. I then seamed the back of the hat, Kitchener stitches the top closed and then gathered the white stitches on each side of the arrow. It worked very well.

I had finished the knitting of a sweater in the car on the way down to celebrate Thanksgiving and started to embroider one of the front sides. Today I finished that, too! It’s been soaked and blocked.

I am looking forward to wearing it in a couple of days!

I’ve enjoyed my simple embroidery on my knitted accessories and this is the first garment that I’ve embroidered. I have a long way to go until I’m totally satisfied but I like it pretty well.

Neither the colors nor the embroidery are showing up well. I’ll add more pictures on a brighter day.

I just found some sweet visitor footprints on our front porch. I really love a good snow day!

Gone knitting!

More details about these projects can be found on my Ravelry projects page. I’m Lindar on Ravelry.

Follow me on Facebook at Queen Bee Knits by LindaWarner and on Instagram, @QueenBeeKnits.

November is for Gratitude

Grateful for This View

We are coming up on the anniversary of moving into our house here in Maine. It’ll be 4 years that we have lived here and I didn’t want the anniversary to pass without marking the day with a grateful heart. We are so fortunate to love here and we never take it for granted.

Gray Day

I’m working away on my knitting and I am making slow but sure progress. Knitting is such a wonderful “activity” and as the winter gets closer and closer, I’m happy to have several projects on the needles and several more in my knotting pipeline.

Ma Belle Amie Cowl

I’m knitting my second Ma Belle Amie cowl and this one has a distinct Christmas color combination. I’m knitting with Jojoland’s Baritone, a DK weight squishy superwash wool. I have chosen the exact same colors one of my Friday knitters made. She has a good eye for color and I thought this would prove to be a good project for when I don’t want to count. Or pay attention. I have modified the pattern a bit for this project and I’ll put the details in my project page on Ravelry.

Pumpkins and Acorns

We’ve had a ton of acorns in our yard this fall. I love them. When Hunter Hammersen showed knitted acorns I immediately ordered the pattern and went out to collect some acorn caps. I’ve knitted a few and have plans to knit more. I just need to set them aside for now to get a couple of orders done. The pumpkins are replacements for my daughter whose puppy chewed hers. Naughty dog! *wink.

I’m finished with the body of my v-neck cardigan. I continue to work on my Stephen West Starflake KAL and despite being frightfully far behind, I’m enjoying the process. In waist deep in the two-color Brioche section. Last night I made my first mistake and had to rip back a few rows because I missed two rows which meant that I was knitting on the wrong side. Frustrating but fixed now.

Rainbow Socks

I’m working on rainbow socks for my French grandson. At his request. There’s nothing better than having someone you love request a knitted item that is desired. I can’t wait to see his face when they arrive. Of course, I can’t send to one without the other so a pair of rosey pink socks will follow for little sister.

New Yarn and Fabric Storage

I have several more projects in my pipeline. A few of which are sitting out on my new cabinets in my studio. I’ve put some of my yarn up on the shelf on the left with lavender sachets. Books and reference materials will love in the shelf to the right. My carpenter is working on the drawers and doors for the cabinets on the bottom. I hope it’ll be done soon. I am eager to get back to some semblance of order. I can’t even find my ironing board behind the sewing projects. I’m grateful to have these new cabinets!

The mess that needs to be put away!

Since we have passed the point of no return, it’s now getting dark before 4pm. I like waking up with some light but I don’t like going home from work in the dark. Hello, winter!

Gone knitting.

More details can be found on my Ravelry project page. I’m “lindar” on Ravelry. Find Queen Bee Knits on Instagram @queenbeeknits and on Facebook Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner.